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Prescient GmbH

Prescient GmbH

Prescient GmbH is a consulting and publishing company.

PRESCIENT means "Perceiving the significance of events before they occur" (Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language). Our philosophy is to share our knowledge where we expect to add value. Instead of just reacting based on what happened we prefer to anticipate what might happen and to prepare ourselves and our customers for it.

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Book recommendation:

Intelligent organizations

Markus Schwaninger provides recommendations how to deal with the increasing complexity. Based on Schwaninger, intelligent organizations adapt to the changed circumstances, influence their environment, potentially seek new milieus, where they can survive, and thereby make a positive net contribution to their viability.

He proposes to use the "Viable System Model". He describes some of the deficiencies of traditional organizations, where much of the responsibility is delegated up the hierarchy instead of counting on personal responsibility. In the Viable System Model the contribution of individuals on all levels is of major importance. Between the bottom and the top of the hierarchy there are systematic recursions of feedback which enable them to learn from each other. This model helps employees on all levels to better understand the world from the perspective of their managers, which allows them to make their decisions based on a reflection of the operational as well as strategic objectives. Such a system enables an effective co-operation. Employees can act self-organized in many situations based on the availability of critical information. In this scenario, managers only need to deal with what is left over for them to take care of, which Schwaninger calls "residual variety" (p. 16).

The key to the absorption of complexity by the organization is the structure of the social system, which should be based on (p. 28):

  • Self-control: A system's ability to control itself, which includes setting and adjusting its own goals, as well as autonomous adaptation.
  • Self-organization: The autonomous, often spontaneous formation of relationships, activities and structural patterns.
  • Self-reference: A system's capability to reflect upon itself, and therewith on aspects such as its identity, values, purpose, goals and tasks or activities.
  • Self-transformation: The ability of a system to reorganize and restructure itself.